En March 23 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald limes and concluded that he died from a
gunshot wound of the head caused by a shotgun. Investigation to that point had revealed that the
decedent had jumped from the top of a ten story building with the intent to commit suicide. [He left a
note indicating his despondency. j is he passed the tth floor on the way down, his life was interrupted
by a shotgun blast through a window, killing him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the decedent was
aware that a safety net had been erected at the tth floor level to protect some window washers, and
that the decedent would not have been able to complete his intent to commit suicide because of this..
Ordinarily a person who starts into motion the events with a suicide intent ultimately commits suicide
even though the mechanism might be not what he intended. That he was shot on the way to certain
death nine stories below probably would not change his mode of death from suicide to homicide, but the
fact that his suicide intent would not have been achieved under any circumstance caused the medical
examiner to feel that he had homicide on his hands...
Further investigation led to the discovery that the room on the tth floor from whence the shotgun blast
emanated was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. He was threatening her with the shotgun
because of an interspecial spat and became so upset that he could not hold the shotgun straight.
Therefore, when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife, and the pellets went through the
window, striking the decedent.
when one intends to kill subject A, but kills subject Bin the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of
subject B. The old man was confronted with this conclusion, but both he and his wife were adamant in
stating that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded. It was the longtime habit of the old man to
threaten his wife with an unloaded shotgun. He had no intent to murder her; therefore, the killing of the
decedent appeared then to be accident. That is, the gun had been accidentally loaded...
But further investigation turned up a witness that their son was seen loading the shotgun approximately
six weeks prior to the fatal accident. That investigation showed that the mother [the old lady]: had cut off
her son' s financial support, and her son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun
threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that the father would shoot his mother. The case now
becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Dpes...
Further investigation revealed that the son became increasingly despondent over the failure of his
attempt to get his mother murdered. This led him to jump off the ten story building on March 23, only to
be killed by a shotgun blast through a tth story window.
The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.